Any older guys on easy strength?

Discussion in 'Barbell' started by 01tj, May 9, 2019.

  1. 01tj

    01tj Still New to StrongFirst Forum

    I had surgery back in October and lost a decent amount of strength. I decided to go with easy strength to try to get back on track. I've been warming up with 2 circuits of pushups, leg curls, pull ups and overhead squats. My lifts are squat, military press, still leg dead lifts and barbell rows. I usually finish up with around 5 reps of clap pushups and box jumps. I've been noticing some over-training type issues and am wondering if I should maybe throw in a back off day. Does anyone do this? If so what do you do on your back off day to keep the gains coming?
  2. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides StrongFirst Director of Community Engagement Staff Member Senior Instructor

    I'd start by getting rid of your warmups, your "finish up" or both - or at least cut both in half.

    Welcome to the StrongFirst forum, @01tj.

    Last edited: May 9, 2019
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  3. wespom9

    wespom9 More than 500 posts Certified Instructor

    How heavy are you going with the 5 reps? AKA are you doing 5 reps at a 7RM, or a 10RM, etc?
  4. mrdave100

    mrdave100 Double-Digit Post Count

    Clap pushups and box jumps can be very taxing and to top it off, you're doing them 5 days a week. I second Steve's recommendation, eliminate or drastically reduce them.
  5. vegpedlr

    vegpedlr More than 500 posts

    That’s not Easy Strength.

    An example:

    Warm up with about 25 swings and a few goblet squats
    2x5 TOTAL reps (no warm ups) of

    A big push, like BP,MP, dip
    A big pull, like PU or row
    A DL variation
    A loaded carry
    Ab wheel

    That’s it. Repeat daily, or almost daily. I’ve done it for 2-3 months at a time four days a week and loved it. You should never come close to overtraining. Then it wouldn’t be Easy.
  6. Alan Mackey

    Alan Mackey Triple-Digit Post Count

    I'm almost 48 and I've been training park bench style since Easy Strength was published.

    - Three of four lifts plus loaded carries, three to five times a week.

    - No more than ten total reps per lift (3x3 is, by far, my favorite scheme).

    - Always using between 60%-80% of my 1RM (it's called EASY for a reason).

    - Plenty of rest between sets and lifts (at those lower percentages, three minutes is more than enough).

    Kyle Schuant's musings about easy Strength are pure gold.
    Last edited: May 10, 2019
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  7. 01tj

    01tj Still New to StrongFirst Forum

    I could definitely go a little heavier but I haven't gone to failure on any of my lifts for years.

    I'll definitely check him out.

    I did alter the workout to try to fit my goals, I'll try cut back off on clap pushups and my warmup. I am somewhat workout OCD and always try to include both vertical and horizontal push and pull movements in every program. I'm not going all out in the warmup but I wanted to keep the movement. The clap pushups and jumps were put in because I still try to play basketball regularly and know I'm losing explosiveness with age.
  8. Steve W.

    Steve W. Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    The idea of easy strength (the "40 Day"/"even easier" variant that most people mean when they use the term "easy strength") is that EVERY day should feel like a back off day.

    One of my favorite Dan John sayings is: "Train today like you are planning on going for a PR tomorrow. Then train the same way tomorrow."
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  9. vegpedlr

    vegpedlr More than 500 posts

    No need to include both horizontal and vertical planes for pushing and pulling all the time. Just switch between the exercises every few weeks or so to keep everything covered. Ploy type work is definitely not Easy. Perhaps one or two days a week add them in depending on how much ball you play.

    One of the key take aways I got from Easy Strength is that it gives more than it takes. I always feel better after a session than before, and enthusiastic about about doing it again the next day. Never feel beat up.
    Last edited: May 10, 2019
  10. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller More than 2500 posts

    Tracking gains with this approach, how long does it take to see improvements?

    Coming off of layoff/rehab I'd be leaning more toward DeLorme maybe..?

    For the plyo, maybe just a few different footwork drills mixed up throughout the week instead of box jumps - much easier to regulate the intensity. I recently began using these and realized I should have been including them all along.
  11. 01tj

    01tj Still New to StrongFirst Forum

    That's the first I've heard of De Lorme but I'll read up on his workouts. I have to be careful with some exercises like the clean and jerk because of some other injuries I've had over the years.
  12. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller More than 2500 posts

    Just do a search 'DeLorme Dan John'. Over the years he's used several variations on this that are pretty straightforward and maybe a better choice to lead into more strength oriented work.

    Definitely choose your exercises based on tolerance first. I've had to rehab from a number of injuries and it all began with doing what I could while doing no harm - expand from there.
  13. ClaudeR

    ClaudeR Triple-Digit Post Count

    Oh boy, you’re in for a treat (and a lot of history ), you’ll love the world you’ll discover!

    DeLorme treated disabled WWII vets and polio victims, and got them back to the living largely through strength training. He is one of the pioneers and fathers of modern strength training, and his simple (but not easy) programming (very close to SF philosophy btw) are still considered one of the best approaches.
    There is a quote somewhere (can’t remember by whom, likely Dan John) that no strength program ever devised was proven to work better than the original DeLorme method

    Read up on him, and any other ways that path will lead to, it’s pure training gold
  14. Denny Phillips

    Denny Phillips Triple-Digit Post Count

    Every year I do a couple rounds of Even Easier Strength. It can be done using the standard 2x5 approach or via the schemes outlined in this article:

    Even Easier Strength

    I agree with vegpedlr that it is important to leave feeling better than when you started, at least on the 2x5 days. In fact, the warm-up (10-25 Goblet squats, 75 Swings, and 1-5 Get-ups) take longer than the body of the workout on 2x5 days. Some 6x1 days leave me feeling like I've hit it pretty hard.

    Another feature that has been very beneficial for me has been the "same but different" approach in exercise selection. Switching things up every two weeks works well. Two weeks of regular deads followed by snatch grip deads then trap bar, etc really helped boost my overall dead lift. Using this format allowed me to achieve an all-time PR in the military press at 62 years of age.

    Dan has also stated that, for some reason, squats don't work in the ES system although I have found that Zercher squats worked well for me.
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  15. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller More than 2500 posts

    Personally, squats need a little more volume. Not necessarily at higher %rm loading throughout but some work at high RM essential.

    Squat is the mule of the resistance training world and it needs to be worked, or left to its own devices will always hold back, and hold back everything else as well. When your squat loading and volume go up is like an "all clear" sign to the rest of the body - all's good, time for gains.
  16. Denny Phillips

    Denny Phillips Triple-Digit Post Count


    In my case it's specific to back squats. Typically, there is a period that requires front squats in order to remind me that bracing is crucial and where my abdominal strength rates at that particular time. Regardless of how much front squatting I do my body does not respond as well until I start back squats. Perhaps it has something to do with being a taller guy and preferring high-bar back squats.
  17. 01tj

    01tj Still New to StrongFirst Forum

    My main focus with squats have has been getting lower. Its been a long time since I could even think of ATG and years since I even got to parallel without knee pain. I have really dropped the weight and am focusing on form.
  18. vegpedlr

    vegpedlr More than 500 posts

    The last round of Easy Strength I did was in the fall. I did DL on a sorta smithy machine that allowed for more movement. I did dips and PU, carries and some assorted planks. I neglected swings and goblets, mainly because my gym doesn’t have heavy enough KBs and because my warmup is the 15 min walk to the gym. That was a mistake, and when I switched programs for the winter I realized it when adding back squats. I trained 4 days a week, accumulating 50 sessions, and managed BW dips and PU for the first time in ages. Added weight to the DL too. I found that 4 days was perfect, the fifth day didn’t do much. I didn’t do the various rep schemes others do, I alternated between 2x5 and 3x3, going by feel as weights went up. I trained 5-6 days a week aerobically, split between running and cycling. I made progress in my MAF tests while getting stronger.

    I made some of the best progress during that period. I love Easy Strength.

    Easy Strength FTW!
  19. 01tj

    01tj Still New to StrongFirst Forum

    I do think it's ideal for older lifters. I've backed off on the clap pushups and box jumps and added in waiters carries at the end of my workout. I'll probably go another week or two then switch to deadlifts, good mornings, incline bench, weighted pullups and farmers walks. I used to be pretty strong when I was younger but I didn't get stronger the easy way and my joints definitely suffered from it.
  20. vegpedlr

    vegpedlr More than 500 posts

    Why both DL and Good Mornings? That seems like too much of the same movement.
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